Intrinsically disordered proteins and multicellular organisms

A. Keith Dunker, Sarah E. Bondos, Fei Huang, Christopher J. Oldfield

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

67 Scopus citations


Intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) and IDP regions lack stable tertiary structure yet carry out numerous biological functions, especially those associated with signaling, transcription regulation, DNA condensation, cell division, and cellular differentiation. Both post-translational modifications (PTMs) and alternative splicing (AS) expand the functional repertoire of IDPs. Here we propose that an "IDP-based developmental toolkit," which is comprised of IDP regions, PTMs, especially multiple PTMs, within these IDP regions, and AS events within segments of pre-mRNA that code for these same IDP regions, allows functional diversification and environmental responsiveness for molecules that direct the development of complex metazoans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-55
Number of pages12
JournalSeminars in Cell and Developmental Biology
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Alternative splicing
  • Cell cycle
  • Differentiation
  • Intrinsic disorder
  • Post-translational modification
  • Signaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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